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SC4S Configuration Variables

Other than device filter creation, SC4S is almost entirely controlled by environment variables. Here are the categories and variables needed to properly configure SC4S for your environment.

Global Configuration

Variable Values Description
SC4S_USE_REVERSE_DNS yes or no(default) Use reverse DNS to identify hosts when HOST is not valid in the syslog header.
SC4S_REVERSE_DNS_KEEP_FQDN yes or no(default) When enable, SC4S will not extract hostname from FQDN, and instead will pass the full domain name to HOST.
SC4S_CONTAINER_HOST string Variable that is passed to the container to identify the actual log host for container implementations.
  • NOTE: Do not configure HEC Acknowledgement when deploying the HEC token on the Splunk side; the underlying syslog-ng http destination does not support this feature. Moreover, HEC Ack would significantly degrade performance for streaming data such as syslog.

  • NOTE: Use of the SC4S_USE_REVERSE_DNS variable can have a significant impact on performance if the reverse DNS facility (typically a caching nameserver) is not performant. If you notice events being indexed far later than their actual timestamp in the event (latency between _indextime and _time), this is the first place to check.

Configure use of external http proxy

Warning: Many http proxies are not provisioned with application traffic in mind. Ensure adequate capacity is available to avoid data loss and or proxy outages. Note: the follow variables are lower case

Variable Values Description
http_proxy undefined Use libcurl format proxy string “http://username:password@proxy.server:port”
https_proxy undefined Use libcurl format proxy string “http://username:password@proxy.server:port”

Splunk HEC Destination Configuration

Variable Values Description
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_CIPHER_SUITE comma separated list Open SSL cipher suite list
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_SSL_VERSION comma separated list Open SSL version list
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_WORKERS numeric Number of destination workers (default: 10 threads). This should rarely need to be changed; consult sc4s community for advice on appropriate setting in extreme high- or low-volume environments.
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_INDEXED_FIELDS r_unixtime,facility,

List of sc4s indexed fields that will be included with each event in Splunk (default is the entire list except “none”). Two other indexed fields, sc4s_vendor_product and sc4s_syslog_format, will also appear along with the fields selected via the list and cannot be turned on or off individually. If no indexed fields are desired (including the two internal ones), set the value to the single value of “none”. When setting this variable, separate multiple entries with commas and do not include extra spaces.

This list maps to the following indexed fields that will appear in all Splunk events:
facility: sc4s_syslog_facility
severity: sc4s_syslog_severity
container: sc4s_container
loghost: sc4s_loghost
dport: sc4s_destport
fromhostip: sc4s_fromhostip
proto: sc4s_proto
  • NOTE: When using alternate HEC destinations, the destination operating parameters outlined above (CIPHER_SUITE, SSL_VERSION, etc.) can be individually controlled per DESTID (see “Configuration of Additional Splunk HEC Destinations” immediately below). For example, to set the number of workers for the alternate HEC destination d_hec_FOO to 24, set SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_FOO_WORKERS=24.

  • NOTE2: Configuration files for destinations must have a .conf extension

Configure additional PKI Trust Anchors

Additional trusted (private) Certificate authorities may be trusted by appending each PEM formatted certificate to /opt/sc4s/tls/trusted.pem

Configuration of timezone for legacy sources

Legacy sources (those that remain non compliant with RFC5424) often leave the recipient to guess at the actual time zone offset. SC4S uses an advanced feature of syslog-ng to “guess” the correct time zone for real time sources. However, this feature requires the source (device) clock to be synchronized to within +/- 30s of the SC4S system clock. Industry accepted best practice is to set such legacy systems to GMT (sometimes inaccurately called UTC). However, this is not always possible and in such cases two additional methods are available. For a list of time zones see. Only the “TZ Database name” OR “offset” format may be used.

Change Global default time zone

This setting is used when the container cost is not set for UTC (best practice). Using this setting is often confusing and should be avoided.

Set the SC4S_DEFAULT_TIMEZONE variable to a recognized “zone info” (Region/City) time zone format such as America/New_York. Setting this value will force SC4S to use the specified timezone (and honor its associated Daylight Savings/Summer Time rules) for all events without a timezone offset in the header or message payload.

SC4S Disk Buffer Configuration

Disk buffers in SC4S are allocated per destination. Keep this in mind when using additional destinations that have disk buffering configured. By default, when alternate HEC destinations are configured as outlined above disk buffering will be configured identically to that of the main HEC destination (unless overridden individually).

Important Notes Regarding Disk Buffering:

  • “Reliable” disk buffering offers little advantage over “normal” disk buffering, at a significant performance penalty. For this reason, normal disk buffering is recommended.

  • If you add destinations locally in your configuration, pay attention to the cumulative buffer requirements when allocating local disk.

  • Disk buffer storage is configured via container volumes and is persistent between restarts of the container. Be sure to account for disk space requirements on the local sc4s host when creating the container volumes in your respective runtime environment (outlined in the “getting started” runtime docs). These volumes can grow significantly if there is an extended outage to the SC4S destinations (HEC endpoints). See the “SC4S Disk Buffer Configuration” section on the Configuration page for more info.

  • The values for the variables below represent the total sizes of the buffers for the destination. These sizes are divided by the number of workers (threads) when setting the actual syslog-ng buffer options, because the buffer options apply to each worker rather than the entire destination. Pay careful attention to this when using the “BYOE” version of SC4S, where direct access to the syslog-ng config files may hide this nuance. Lastly, be sure to factor in the syslog-ng data structure overhead (approx. 2x raw message size) when calculating the total buffer size needed. To determine the proper size of the disk buffer, consult the “Data Resilience” section below.

  • When changing the disk buffering directory, the new directory must exist. If it doesn’t, then syslog-ng will fail to start.

  • When changing the disk buffering directory, if buffering has previously occurred on that instance, a persist file may exist which will prevent syslog-ng from changing the directory.

Disk Buffer Variables

Variable Values/Default Description
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_ENABLE yes(default) or no Enable local disk buffering
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_RELIABLE yes or no(default) Enable reliable/normal disk buffering (normal recommended)
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_MEMBUFSIZE bytes (10241024) Memory buffer size in bytes (used with reliable disk buffering)
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_MEMBUFLENGTH messages (15000) Memory buffer size in message count (used with normal disk buffering)
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_DISKBUFSIZE bytes (53687091200) Size of local disk buffer in bytes (default 50 GB)
SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DEFAULT_DISKBUFF_DIR path Location to store the disk buffer files. This variable should only be set when using BYOE; this location is fixed when using the Container.

Archive File Configuration

This feature is designed to support compliance or “diode mode” archival of all messages. Instructions for mounting the appropriate local directory to use this feature are included in each “getting started” runtime document. The files will be stored in a folder structure at the mount point using the pattern shown in the table below depending on the value of the SC4S_GLOBAL_ARCHIVE_MODE variable. All events for both modes are formatted using syslog-ng’s EWMM template.

Variable Value/Default Location/Pattern
SC4S_GLOBAL_ARCHIVE_MODE compliance(default) <archive mount>/${.splunk.sourcetype}/${HOST}/$YEAR-$MONTH-$DAY-archive.log
SC4S_GLOBAL_ARCHIVE_MODE diode <archive mount>/${YEAR}/${MONTH}/${DAY}/${fields.sc4s_vendor_product}_${YEAR}${MONTH}${DAY}${HOUR}${MIN}.log"


Use the following variables to select global archiving or per-source archiving. C4S does not prune the files that are created; therefore the administrator must provide a means of log rotation to prune files and/or move them to an archival system to avoid exhaustion of disk space.

Variable Values Description
SC4S_ARCHIVE_GLOBAL yes or undefined Enable archive of all vendor_products
SC4S_DEST_<VENDOR_PRODUCT>_ARCHIVE yes(default) or undefined See sources section of documentation enables selective archival

Syslog Source Configuration

Variable Values/Default Description
SC4S_SOURCE_TLS_ENABLE yes or no(default) Enable TLS globally. Be sure to configure the cert as shown immediately below.
SC4S_LISTEN_DEFAULT_TLS_PORT undefined or 6514 Enable a TLS listener on port 6514
SC4S_LISTEN_DEFAULT_RFC6425_PORT undefined or 5425 Enable a TLS listener on port 5425
SC4S_SOURCE_TLS_OPTIONS no-sslv2 Comma-separated list of the following options: no-sslv2, no-sslv3, no-tlsv1, no-tlsv11, no-tlsv12, none. See syslog-ng docs for the latest list and defaults
SC4S_SOURCE_TLS_CIPHER_SUITE See openssl Colon-delimited list of ciphers to support, e.g. ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384. See openssl docs for the latest list and defaults
SC4S_SOURCE_TCP_MAX_CONNECTIONS 2000 Max number of TCP Connections
SC4S_SOURCE_UDP_IW_USE yes or no(default) If we want to change the Initial Window Size for UDP
SC4S_SOURCE_UDP_FETCH_LIMIT 1000 Number of events to fetch from server buffer at once
SC4S_SOURCE_UDP_IW_SIZE 250000 Initial Window size
SC4S_SOURCE_TCP_IW_SIZE 20000000 Initial Window size
SC4S_SOURCE_TCP_FETCH_LIMIT 2000 Number of events to fetch from server buffer at once
SC4S_SOURCE_UDP_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_TCP_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_TLS_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_RFC5426_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_RFC6587_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_RFC5425_SO_RCVBUFF 17039360 UDP server buffer size in bytes. Make sure that the host OS kernel is configured similarly.
SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_UDP_SOCKETS 4 Number of kernel sockets per active UDP port, which configures multi-threading of the UDP input buffer in the kernel to prevent packet loss. Total UDP input buffer is the multiple of SOCKETS * SO_RCVBUFF
SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_RFC5426_SOCKETS 1 Number of kernel sockets per active UDP port, which configures multi-threading of the UDP input buffer in the kernel to prevent packet loss. Total UDP input buffer is the multiple of SOCKETS * SO_RCVBUFF
SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_RFC6587_SOCKETS 1 Number of kernel sockets per active UDP port, which configures multi-threading of the UDP input buffer in the kernel to prevent packet loss. Total UDP input buffer is the multiple of SOCKETS * SO_RCVBUFF
SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_RFC5425_SOCKETS 1 Number of kernel sockets per active UDP port, which configures multi-threading of the UDP input buffer in the kernel to prevent packet loss. Total UDP input buffer is the multiple of SOCKETS * SO_RCVBUFF
SC4S_SOURCE_STORE_RAWMSG undefined or “no” Store unprocessed “on the wire” raw message in the RAWMSG macro for use with the “fallback” sourcetype. Do not set this in production; substantial memory and disk overhead will result. Use for log path/filter development only.
SC4S_IPV6_ENABLE yes or no(default) enable (dual-stack)IPv6 listeners and health checks

Syslog Source TLS Certificate Configuration

  • Create a folder /opt/sc4s/tls if not already done as part of the “getting started” process.
  • Uncomment the appropriate mount line in the unit or yaml file (again, documented in the “getting started” runtime documents).
  • Save the server private key in PEM format with NO PASSWORD to /opt/sc4s/tls/server.key
  • Save the server certificate in PEM format to /opt/sc4s/tls/server.pem
  • Ensure the entry SC4S_SOURCE_TLS_ENABLE=yes exists in /opt/sc4s/env_file

SC4S metadata configuration

Log Path overrides of index or metadata

A key aspect of SC4S is to properly set Splunk metadata prior to the data arriving in Splunk (and before any TA processing takes place). The filters will apply the proper index, source, sourcetype, host, and timestamp metadata automatically by individual data source. Proper values for this metadata, including a recommended index and output format (template), are included with all “out-of-the-box” log paths included with SC4S and are chosen to properly interface with the corresponding TA in Splunk. The administrator will need to ensure all recommended indexes be created to accept this data if the defaults are not changed.

It will be common to override default values in many installations. To accommodate this, each log path consults an internal lookup file that maps Splunk metadata to the specific data source being processed. This file contains the defaults that are used by SC4S to set the appropriate Splunk metadata (index, host, source, and sourcetype) for each data source. This file is not directly available to the administrator, but a copy of the file is deposited in the local mounted directory (by default /opt/sc4s/local/context/splunk_metadata.csv.example) for reference. It is important to note that this copy is not used directly, but is provided solely for reference. To add to the list, or to override default entries, simply create an override file without the example extension (e.g. /opt/sc4s/local/context/splunk_metadata.csv) and modify it according to the instructions below.

splunk_metadata.csv is a CSV file containing a “key” that is referenced in the log path for each data source. These keys are documented in the individual source files in this section, and allow one to override Splunk metadata either in whole or part. The use of this file is best shown by example. Here is the Netscreen “Sourcetype and Index Configuration” table from the Juniper source documentation:

key sourcetype index notes
juniper_netscreen netscreen:firewall netfw none

Here is a line from a typical splunk_metadata.csv override file:


The columns in this file are key, metadata, and value. To make a change via the override file, consult the example file (or the source documentation) for the proper key when overriding an existing source and modify and/or add rows in the table, specifying one or more of the following metadata/value pairs for a given key:

  • key which refers to the vendor and product name of the data source, using the vendor_product convention. For overrides, these keys will be listed in the example file. For new (custom) sources, be sure to choose a key that accurately reflects the vendor and product being configured, and that matches what is specified in the log path.
  • index to specify an alternate value for index
  • source to specify an alternate value for source
  • host to specify an alternate value for host
  • sourcetype to specify an alternate value for sourcetype (be very careful when changing this; only do so if an upstream TA is not being used, or a custom TA (built by you) is being used.)
  • sc4s_template to specify an alternate value for the syslog-ng template that will be used to format the event that will be indexed by Splunk. Changing this carries the same warning as the sourcetype above; this will affect the upstream TA. The template choices are documented elsewhere in this Configuration section.

In our example above, the juniper_netscreen key references a new index used for that data source called ns_index.

In general, for most deployments the index should be the only change needed; other default metadata should almost never be overridden (particularly for the “Out of the Box” data sources). Even then, care should be taken when considering any alternates, as the defaults for SC4S were chosen with best practices in mind.

  • NOTE: The splunk_metadata.csv file is a true override file and the entire example file should not be copied over to the override. In most cases, the override file is just one or two lines, unless an entire index category (e.g. netfw) needs to be overridden. This is similar in concept to the “default” and “local” conf file precedence in Splunk Enterprise.

  • NOTE The splunk_metadata.csv file should always be appended with an appropriate new key and default for the index when building a custom SC4S log path, as the new key will not exist in the internal lookup (nor the example file). Care should be taken during log path design to choose appropriate index, sourcetype and template defaults so that admins are not compelled to override them. If the custom log path is later added to the list of SC4S-supported sources, this addendum can be removed.

  • NOTE: As noted above, the splunk_metadata.csv.example file is provided for reference only and is not used directly by SC4S. However, it is an exact copy of the internal file, and can therefore change from release to release. Be sure to check the example file first to make sure the keys for any overrides map correctly to the ones in the example file.

Override index or metadata based on host, ip, or subnet (compliance overrides)

In other cases it is appropriate to provide the same overrides but based on PCI scope, geography, or other criterion rather than globally. This is accomplished by the use of a file that uniquely identifies these source exceptions via syslog-ng filters, which maps to an associated lookup of alternate indexes, sources, or other metadata. In addition, (indexed) fields can also be added to further classify the data.

  • The conf and csv files referenced below will be populated into the /opt/sc4s/local/context directory when SC4S is run for the first time after being set up according to the “getting started” runtime documents, in a similar fashion to splunk_metadata.csv. After this first-time population of the files takes place, they can be edited (and SC4S restarted) for the changes to take effect. To get started:

  • Edit the file compliance_meta_by_source.conf to supply uniquely named filters to identify events subject to override.

  • Edit the file compliance_meta_by_source.csv to supply appropriate field(s) and values.

The three columns in the csv file are filter name, field name, and value. Filter names in the conf file must match one or more corresponding filter name rows in the csv file. The field name column obeys the following convention:

  • .splunk.index to specify an alternate value for index
  • .splunk.source to specify an alternate value for source
  • .splunk.sourcetype to specify an alternate value for sourcetype (be very careful when changing this; only do so if a downstream TA is not being used, or a custom TA (built by you) is being used.)
  • fields.fieldname where fieldname will become the name of an indexed field sent to Splunk with the supplied value

This file construct is best shown by an example. Here is a sample compliance_meta_by_source.conf file:

filter f_test_test {
   host("something-*" type(glob)) or

and the corresponding compliance_meta_by_source.csv file:


First off, ensure that the filter name(s) in the conf file match one or more rows in the csv file. In this case, any incoming message with a hostname starting with something- or arriving from a netmask of will match the f_test_test filter, and the corresponding entries in the csv file will be checked for overrides. In this case, the new index is pciindex, and an indexed field named compliance will be sent to Splunk, with it’s value set to pci. To add additional overrides, simply add another filter foo_bar {}; stanza to the conf file, and add appropriate entries to the csv file that match the filter name(s) to the overrides you desire.

  • IMPORTANT: The files above are actual syslog-ng config file snippets that get parsed directly by the underlying syslog-ng process. Take care that your syntax is correct; for more information on proper syslog-ng syntax, see the syslog-ng documentation. A syntax error will cause the runtime process to abort in the “preflight” phase at startup.

Finally, to update your changes for the systemd-based runtimes, restart SC4S using the commands:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart sc4s

For the Docker Swarm runtime, redeploy the updated service using the command:

docker stack deploy --compose-file docker-compose.yml sc4s

Dropping all data by ip or subnet (deprecated)

The usage of vendor_product_by_source to null queue is now deprecated. Please refer to the recommended method for dropping data in Filtering events from output.

In some cases rogue or port-probing data can be sent to SC4S from misconfigured devices or vulnerability scanners. Update the vendor_product_by_source.conf filter f_null_queue with one or more ip/subnet masks to drop events without logging. Note that drop metrics will be recorded.

Fixing (overriding) the host field

In some cases the host value is not present in an event (or an IP address is in its place). For administrators who require that a true hostname will be attached to each event, SC4S provides an optional facility to perform a reverse IP to name lookup. If the variable SC4S_USE_REVERSE_DNS is set to “yes”, then SC4S first checks host.csv and replaces the value of host with the specified value that matches the incoming IP address. If a value is not found in host.csv, SC4S attempts a reverse DNS lookup against the configured nameserver. In this case, SC4S by default extracts only the hostname from FQDN ( -> example). If SC4S_REVERSE_DNS_KEEP_FQDN variable is set to “yes”, full domain name is assigned to the host field.

  • NOTE: SC4S_USE_REVERSE_DNS can have a significant impact on performance if the reverse DNS facility (typically a caching nameserver) is not performant. If you notice events being indexed far later than their actual timestamp in the event (latency between _indextime and _time), you should check this variable first.

Splunk Connect for Syslog output templates (syslog-ng templates)

Splunk Connect for Syslog utilizes the syslog-ng template mechanism to format the output payload (event) that will be sent to Splunk. These templates can format the messages in a number of ways (straight text, JSON, etc.) as well as utilize the many syslog-ng “macros” (fields) to specify what gets placed in the payload that is delivered to the destination. Here is a list of the templates used in SC4S, which can be used in the metadata override section immediately above. New templates can also be added by the administrator in the “local” section for local destinations; pay careful attention to the syntax as the templates are “live” syslog-ng config code.

Template name Template contents Notes
t_standard ${DATE} ${HOST} ${MSGHDR}${MESSAGE} Standard template for most RFC3164 (standard syslog) traffic
t_msg_only ${MSGONLY} syslog-ng $MSG is sent, no headers (host, timestamp, etc.)
t_msg_trim $(strip $MSGONLY) As above with whitespace stripped
t_everything ${ISODATE} ${HOST} ${MSGHDR}${MESSAGE} Standard template with ISO date format
t_hdr_msg ${MSGHDR}${MESSAGE} Useful for non-compliant syslog messages
t_legacy_hdr_msg ${LEGACY_MSGHDR}${MESSAGE} Useful for non-compliant syslog messages
t_hdr_sdata_msg ${MSGHDR}${MSGID} ${SDATA} ${MESSAGE} Useful for non-compliant syslog messages
t_program_msg ${PROGRAM}[${PID}]: ${MESSAGE} Useful for non-compliant syslog messages
t_program_nopid_msg ${PROGRAM}: ${MESSAGE} Useful for non-compliant syslog messages
t_JSON_3164 $(format-json –scope rfc3164
–pair PRI=”<$PRI>”
–exclude FACILITY
–exclude PRIORITY)
JSON output of all RFC3164-based syslog-ng macros. Useful with the “fallback” sourcetype to aid in new filter development.
t_JSON_5424 $(format-json –scope rfc5424
–pair PRI=”<$PRI>”
–exclude DATE
–exclude FACILITY
–exclude PRIORITY)
JSON output of all RFC5424-based syslog-ng macros; for use with RFC5424-compliant traffic.
t_JSON_5424_SDATA $(format-json –scope rfc5424
–pair PRI=”<$PRI>”
–exclude DATE
–exclude FACILITY
–exclude PRIORITY)
–exclude MESSAGE
JSON output of all RFC5424-based syslog-ng macros except for MESSAGE; for use with RFC5424-compliant traffic.

Data Resilience - Local Disk Buffer Configuration

SC4S provides capability to minimize the number of lost events if the connection to all the Splunk Indexers goes down. This capability utilizes the disk buffering feature of Syslog-ng. SC4S receives a response from the Splunk HTTP Event Collector (HEC) when a message is received successfully. If a confirmation message from the HEC endpoint is not received (or a “server busy” reply, such as a “503” is sent), the load balancer will try the next HEC endpoint in the pool. If all pool members are exhausted (such as would occur if there were a full network outage to the HEC endpoints), events will queue to the local disk buffer on the SC4S Linux host. SC4S will continue attempting to send the failed events while it buffers all new incoming events to disk. If the disk space allocated to disk buffering fills up then SC4S will stop accepting new events and subsequent events will be lost. Once SC4S gets confirmation that events are again being received by one or more indexers, events will then stream from the buffer using FIFO queueing. The number of events in the disk buffer will reduce as long as the incoming event volume is less than the maximum SC4S (with the disk buffer in the path) can handle. When all events have been emptied from the disk buffer, SC4S will resume streaming events directly to Splunk.

For more detail on the Syslog-ng behavior the documentation can be found here:

SC4S has disk buffering enabled by default and it is strongly recommended that you keep it on, however this feature does have a performance cost. Without disk buffering enabled SC4S can handle up to 345K EPS (800 bytes/event avg) With “Normal” disk buffering enabled SC4S can handle up to 60K EPS (800 bytes/event avg) – This is still a lot of data!

To guard against data loss it is important to configure the appropriate type and amount of storage for SC4S disk buffering. To estimate the storage allocation, follow these steps:

  • Start with your estimated maximum events per second that each SC4S server will experience. Based on the maximum throughput of SC4S with disk buffering enabled, the conservative estimate for maximum events per second would be 60K (however, you should use the maximum rate in your environment for this calculation, not the max rate SC4S can handle).
  • Next is your average estimated event size based on your data sources. It is common industry practice to estimate log events as 800 bytes on average.
  • Then, factor in the maximum length of connectivity downtime you want disk buffering to be able to handle. This measure is very much dependent on your risk tolerance.
  • Lastly, syslog-ng imposes significant overhead to maintain its internal data structures (primarily macros) so that the data can be properly “played back” upon network restoration. This overhead currently runs at about 1.7x above the total storage size for the raw messages themselves, and can be higher for “fallback” data sources due to the overlap of syslog-ng macros (data fields) containing some or all of the original message.

For example, to protect against a full day of lost connectivity from SC4S to all your indexers at maximum throughput the calculation would look like the following:

60,000 EPS * 86400 seconds * 800 bytes * 1.7 = 6.4 TB of storage

To configure storage allocation for the SC4S disk buffering, do the following:

  • Edit the file /opt/sc4s/default/env_file
  • Add the SC4S_DEST_SPLUNK_HEC_DISKBUFF_DISKBUFSIZE variable to the file and set the value to the number of bytes based on your estimation (e.g. 7050240000000 in the example above)
  • Splunk does not recommend reducing the disk allocation below 500 GB
  • Restart SC4S

Given that in a connectivity outage to the Indexers events will be saved and read from disk until the buffer is emptied, it is ideal to use the fastest type of storage available. For this reason, NVMe storage is recommended for SC4S disk buffering.

It is best to design your deployment so that the disk buffer will drain after connectivity is restored to the Splunk Indexers (while incoming data continues at the same general rate). Since “your mileage may vary” with different combinations of data load, instance type, and disk subsystem performance, it is good practice to provision a box that performs twice as well as is required for your max EPS. This headroom will allow for rapid recovery after a connectivity outage.


eBPF is a feature that helps with congestion of single heavy stream of data by utilizing multithreading. Used with SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_UDP_SOCKETS. To leverage this feature you need host os to be able to use eBPF. Additional pre-requisite is running docker/podman in privileged mode.

Variable Values Description
SC4S_ENABLE_EBPF=yes yes or no(default) use ebpf to leverage multithreading when consuming from a single connection
SC4S_EBPF_NO_SOCKETS=4 integer sets number of threads to use, for optimal preformance it should not be less than value set for SC4S_SOURCE_LISTEN_UDP_SOCKETS

To run docker/podman in privileged mode edit service file (/lib/systemd/system/sc4s.service). Add --privileged flag to docker/podman run command:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/podman run \
        -e "SC4S_CONTAINER_HOST=${SC4SHOST}" \
        -v "$SC4S_PERSIST_MOUNT" \
        -v "$SC4S_LOCAL_MOUNT" \
        -v "$SC4S_ARCHIVE_MOUNT" \
        -v "$SC4S_TLS_MOUNT" \
        --privileged \
        --env-file=/opt/sc4s/env_file \
        --health-cmd="/" \
        --health-interval=10s --health-retries=6 --health-timeout=6s \
        --network host \
        --name SC4S \
        --rm $SC4S_IMAGE

Misc options

  • SC4S_LISTEN_STATUS_PORT Change the “status” port used by the internal health check process default value is 8080